According to Sectur, indigenous communities have taken a relevant role in Mexican tourism
The Secretary of Tourism stated that sustainable, community and indigenous tourism is underpinned as a viable alternative in the country
In his capacity as president of the Inter-American Tourism Commission (CITUR), belonging to the OAS, the Secretary of Tourism of the Government of Mexico, Miguel Torruco Marqués, gave the opening speech at the First Forum of Indigenous Tourism of America, convened by the OAS itself, where he affirmed that this meeting allows the countries of the region to exchange experiences on a segment that is becoming increasingly relevant, especially in these difficult times that we are living due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He affirmed that Mexico is the fifth most mega-diverse country in the world, home to seventy native peoples and more than seven million people who speak one of the 364 variants of indigenous languages, which makes it one of the main multicultural nations in the world.
He argued that, over time, indigenous peoples have been seen as minority groups, forgetting that they are the pure sphere that honors the identity of a country.
"For this reason, we must understand their reality, appreciate their traditions and rescue what identifies us among themselves, as a symbol of unity and brotherhood," he said.
The head of Sectur asserted that indigenous communities, increasingly, have been taking a relevant role in the tourist value chain, taking advantage of their biocultural heritage, so that sustainable, community and indigenous tourism is propped up as an alternative of the activity tourism for the conservation of the environment and the generation of social welfare of the host communities.
In this sense, by virtue of its deep ancestral and cultural roots, Mexico has a historic opportunity to dignify its indigenous communities, which have long been marginalized from national development and a better quality of life.
He stated that all the post-pandemic tourist activity scenarios suggest that potential tourists, after long months of confinement, will prefer to travel for leisure and recreation to open places, in contact with nature, and in small groups. In this context, indigenous people will play a fundamental role in the reactivation of tourism.
"Thus, in the Ministry of Tourism we promote the" Sustainable Mexico Reborn "strategy, with which we left in the past an old model of many travelers in a few places, few owners and foreigners, and a lot of money in few hands, to make way to a new tourism model for the preservation of nature, with many local owners and money distributed in many hands, "he said.
He added that, for this purpose, the "Tlatocan of tourism sustainability" was formalized, retaking the form of organization of the ancient Nahuas, where a Council assumes commitments and makes decisions, with the participation of Sectur and other federal agencies, state governments and municipalities, international organizations, indigenous representatives, businessmen, civil society and academia.
Projects such as "Roads of the Mexican Renaissance" are derived from this strategy, which consists of the design and implementation of tourist trails in which communities can integrate ancestral knowledge, biodiversity, culture, traditions, customs and accommodation into the tourism product, with the fitting out of houses for tourist use, among other aspects.
"All of this will allow these communities to benefit from the benefits of tourism, without changing their traditional way of life and, above all, their identity," he said.
Secretary Torruco Marqués specified that the "Moctezuma Fish Route", inspired by the legend of the painanis, who carried fresh fish to the emperor from the coasts of Veracruz to Tenochtitlán, is one of the programs that already operate, with the integration of six states of the republic, 31 municipalities, eight Magical Towns, six World Heritage sites and five types of ecosystems.
With the objective of promoting and disseminating this Route, its launch was carried out at the beginning of this year, with a relay race in which 1,700 competitors took part, including runners, walkers and cyclists, from twenty states and countries such as Canada, the United States, Spain, Argentina, Germany and France, and where the main hosts of the Route are Totonac, Nahua and Otomi communities